LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Long Beach man who operated a narcotics-distribution ring is expected to be sentenced this morning for importing a powerful synthetic opioid from China used to produce homemade pills that were sold in bulk across the nation.

Gary Resnik, 33, led a conspiracy that imported acetylfentanyl, a drug very similar to the powerful and highly addictive opioid fentanyl. Acetylfentanyl, which is many times more potent than heroin, is not approved for any use in the United States.

Resnik pleaded guilty in August to two felony offenses — conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics, including acetylfentanyl and ecstasy, and possession with the intent to distribute acetylfentanyl.

In a plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court, Resnik admitted importing from China bulk chemicals that were used to manufacture acetylfenatnyl. The drug organization also obtained pill presses from China that were used illegally to make tablets in labs in Long Beach and Baldwin Park. Resnik acknowledged that federal drug agents seized almost 20 pounds of acetylfentanyl from the organization.

During the course of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities seized narcotics — including opiate pills containing acetylfentanyl, Xanax pills, and ecstasy pills — from a man who had just purchased the drugs from members of the drug trafficking organization.

Resnik faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the two counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In May, a second member of the ring was sentenced to 26 years behind bars for his role in the operation. Christopher Bowen, 32, of downtown Los Angeles was found guilty in October 2017 by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture narcotics and other charges.

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